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Books by and about 2016 presidential candidates
Hard Choices,
by Hillary Clinton (2014)
Crippled America ,
by Donald J. Trump (2015)
Trump vs. Hillary On The Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Outsider in the White House,
by Bernie Sanders (2015)
American Dreams,
by Marco Rubio (2015)
Taking a Stand,
by Rand Paul (2015)
Unintimidated,
by Scott Walker (2013)
A Time for Truth,
by Ted Cruz (2015)
One Nation,
by Ben Carson (2014)
Trump/Pence vs. Clinton/Kaine On the Issues ,
by Jesse Gordon (2016)
Living History ,
by Hillary Rodham Clinton (2003)
Between Hope and History ,
by Bill Clinton (1996)
In Harm’s Way ,
by Dr. Jill Stein (2000)
Democrat vs. Republican vs. Green vs. Libertarian,
Four Party's Presidential Nominees On The Issues (2016)
Books by and about 2012 presidential candidates
Ten Letters
about Pres. Barack Obama (2011)
Do Not Ask What Good We Do
about Rep. Paul Ryan (2012)

Book Reviews

(from Amazon.com)

(click a book cover for a review or other books by or about the presidency from Amazon.com)

Barack Obama:
This Improbable Quest,
by John K. Wilson



(Click for Amazon book review)

Click here for 36 full quotes from Barack Obama in the book This Improbable Quest, by John Wilson.
OR click on an issue category below for a subset.

BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

This book is the first solid book about Obama's politics, from outside of his campaign. Obama has written several books himself, but those are necessarily biased by their autobiographical nature. We've been waiting all campaign season for a good book ABOUT Obama, rather than BY Obama, and it took until October 2007 for it to get published.* (One might compare that to the dozen books about Hillary!)

The author, John K. Wilson, was a student of Obama's, while Obama was teaching at the University of Chicago Law School. Wilson clearly admires Obama, but the book is not hagiography -- it addresses the serious issues that Obama faces about his personal past and his voting record. It's a solid analysis from a pro-Obama perspective -- useful for Obama fans who want to respond to legitimate criticisms. It's not so useful for those who are anti-Obama -- if Obama goes further, books for them will follow.

The content of the book addresses several key issues that have followed Obama's campaign: race, experience, religion, and the few scandals that have plagued Obama. The book also addresses the "Generation Obama" aspect of the campaign -- his appeal as the first Gen-X** candidate among young people and the blogosphere.

The title of the book comes from Obama's speech announcing his presidential candidacy, in which he invited supporters to join him on "this improbable quest." If Obama ever wins the presidency, that phrase could become his slogan.

* We cover two other books about Obama: Should Barack Obama Be President? and Hopes and Dreams, but both are just introductory -- quick-published books which introduce the candidate without the depth offered here.
** I'm the same age as Obama and I don't consider myself a Gen-Xer. I'm too young to be a Baby-Boomer (I define them by Vietnam and hippies) and too old for Gen-X (I define them as having grown up with computers), so I call myself "Gen-W," i.e., "before Gen-X." But that hasn't caught on....

-- Jesse Gordon, [email protected], Oct. 2007

By the same author: The Most Dangerous Man in America: Rush Limbaugh's Assault on Reason, by John K. Wilson

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
Abortion
    Voted against banning partial birth abortion.
Budget & Economy
    Rejects free market vision of government.
Civil Rights
    Include class-based affirmative action with race-based.
    Decisions about marriage should be left to the states.
    Homosexuality no more immoral than heterosexuality.
Crime
    Pushed Illinois bill to videotape all capital interrogations.
    No extra penalty for gang association.
Drugs
    Not first candidate to use drugs, but first honest about it.
    2001: questions harsh penalties for drug dealing.
Environment
    Organized inner-city recycling; fought environmental racism.
Foreign Policy
    No Obama Doctrine; just democracy, security, liberty.
    Wrote 2006 law stabilizing Congo with $52M.
Government Reform
    Public submits policy ideas on Obama’s “My Policy” website.
    Reduced cost TV ads for candidates; $85M presidential limit.
Gun Control
    2000: cosponsored bill to limit purchases to 1 gun per month.
Health Care
    Added 20,000 children to Illinois healthcare.
Homeland Security
    Judgment is as important as experience.
    If attacked, first help victims then prevent further attacks.
    2006: Obama-Lugar bill restricted conventional weapons.
Principles & Values
    First major politician of the post-Baby Boom generation.
    Community politics: merges Alinsky & political activism.
    Registered 150,000 young Chicago area black voters in 1992.
    Criticizes voter cynicism from decades of disappointment.
    On “inexperience”: he wrote policy books that media ignores.
    Real estate deal with felon was “boneheaded” but ethical.
    Veiled racism in dismissing Obama as “unqualified”.
    Bradley effect: black candidates poll above actual votes.
    Madrassa myth perpetuated by false email & fabricated story.
    Apply lessons from both Goldwater and McGovern.
    Uses prayer to take stock of his moral compass.
    Invites supporters to join him on “This Improbable Quest”.
    Resolve “most electable” vs.“most progressive” by being both.
Tax Reform
    Trillion dollar giveaway: the Paris Hilton Tax Break.
Technology
    Organizes campaign events via MySpace.com and FaceBook.com.
War & Peace
    2002: I don’t oppose all war; I do oppose dumb war.
Welfare & Poverty
    1980s: Director of the Developing Communities Project.


The above quotations are from Barack Obama:
This Improbable Quest,
by John K. Wilson.

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Page last edited: Dec 22, 2018